America and Its Love Affair With the Chicken

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All over the United States of America, people have fallen in love with the chicken. At least they have fallen in love with the chicken when it comes to what to have for lunch, dinner, or even a late night snack.

We here in the United States eat more chicken than anywhere else in the entire world. It is our number one source of protein and is prepared in many different ways. Friend chicken, broiled chicken, grilled chicken, and even fried chicken wings are consumed in great numbers all over the country.

Chicken wings are a special kind of food that we devour on all kinds of different special occasions. Work occasions, get-togethers, summer nights out on the back porch, even parties like Super Bowls and other big games have chicken wings at the center of the culinary activities.

Caterers all around the country have their own special ways of preparing chicken for different types of occasions. Usually, at events like weddings, catering services might provide chicken wings at a cocktail hour and then serve a more dressed up and fancy version of chicken preparation at the sit-down dinner.

If you have ever been to a wedding and had to select chicken or fish, or were given some other type of choice like chicken or beef, you will most likely recall that it was chicken that was always the constant. The other item is the one that is different. Chicken is a pretty steady bet when you go to a sit-down event.

In 2015, Americans consumed 90.1 pounds of chicken per capita. In the year 2016, it was projected that the amount of chicken consumed per capita would grow to 91.8 pounds, over a pound more per capita. American’s love of chicken is pretty large and it doesn’t look like it is going to end anytime soon.

Chicken is an extremely important part of the fast food industry in America. Virtually every restaurant that has its doors open has at least one chicken item on the menu. Food delivery has grown to include many different types of restaurants that offer chicken on the menu. The many ways in which chicken can be prepared lends itself to being served in so many different types of restaurants.

Many restaurants that specialize in chicken, especially fried chicken, really understand that using almost the entire chicken is what makes chicken lovers come back for more. The thigh, the breast, the wings, virtually every bit of the chicken is used by friend chicken restaurants around the country.

No matter what, though, it is chicken wings that seem to be the most popular. Having chicken wings during the big game has become a tradition over the last couple of decades, leaving every other kind of food trailing behind in terms of numbers. The breast and thigh are popular items for sit down meals, but the chicken wings are what most people want to sink their teeth into when they are snacking on something during the halftime show at the Super Bowl.

No matter what part of the chicken is being used by restaurants, caterers, or backyard barbecue aficionados, the chicken is an animal that Americans can’t seem to get enough of. Because we can’t get enough chicken, that means that more chickens have to be raised and delivered. Right now, there are about 25,000 family farms that have what are called production contracts with chicken companies. Just about 95% of the broiler chickens that are produced are produced on these family farms. The additional 5% of chickens are raised on company-owned farms.

The United States of America might not be first in some things, but it is certainly first in the amount of chicken its people eat every year. It does not matter how you prepare it, chicken is the number one, go-to meal in almost every home and restaurant. Maybe after reading this you are getting hungry for some chicken. How about some chicken wings?

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Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?